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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Alan Stubbs praised his Everton Under-21 side after a professional performance earned a 2-0 win at Norwich on Monday evening.

The Blues came out on top in the contest at Carrow Road thanks to second-half goals from Apostolos Vellios and substitute Conor Grant.

The result lifts Stubbs' team up to fourth in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League National Group One table, and the former Everton centre-back admitted he was pleased with a third successive victory.

After the game he told "To come away from home and get a result is not easy, but the lads dug in in the first half, which gave them a chance to build on something in the second.

"The pleasing thing for me now is that we're not conceding goals. They're putting themselves in good positions to defend and I felt we started the game really well.

"In the first 15 minutes we could have found ourselves a couple of goals up. But then we lost our way a little bit and got a bit ragged in midfield, chasing things when we didn't need to. We should have kept a good formation. I thought we did that a lot better in the second half."

The Blues were forced into changes when Francisco Junior sustained a cut above his eye and Conor McAleny tweaked an ankle before half-time.

That meant 17-year old Grant and England Under-19 international Hallam Hope entered the fray, along with Matthew Pennington who replaced Sylvain Distin at the interval.

And Stubbs was happy with the output of his younger XI for the second period.

He added: "In the end we had all the young boys on from the bench because we had to make a few substitutions due to injuries. That made us weaker from the starting line-up, but the lads that came in did well again."

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